Trust Me On This, by Jennifer Crusie

>> Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Trust Me On This is one of Jennifer Crusie's old, extremely hard to find Loveswepts. But don't worry, many of her early books have been reissued in the past couple of years, so it's probably just a matter of time before this one comes out with a nice new cover, too.

Dennie Banks is a serious reporter, hot on a story, not a con man's moll. Alec Prentice is a clever, undercover agent, not a dumb male chauvinist hunk. Dennie and Alec can't quite read each other because they have ulterior motives. Thank goodness their hormones keep getting in the way. Eventually they are going to get to know each other, whether they want to or not.
The word that best describes TMOT is fun. I started smiling practically on the first page, and by the time the book was over, my face was aching from laughing so hard. A B+.

Reporter Dennie Banks is in a bad place professionally, so she needs a good story, an important story. Her best idea is to go to an upcoming Literary Conference to try to interview a famous feminist author, the authority on what makes a good marriage. See, Dennie has just caught wind of the woman's impending divorce, and she just knows this will be an incredible story.

Of course, Dennie very definitely does not intend to exploit this story. Oh, no, she wants to help, she wants to make sure the first story to come out about it is respectful and sympathetic, hoping this might set the tone for the rest of the press' coverage. Too bad she doesn't handle the initial approach very well. The author doesn't believe her, and Dennie ends up accused of harassment and almost kicked out of the hotel where the conference is taking place. But she refuses to give up. She will get this interview, even if she has to approach her quarry in an indirect way, maybe through one of her friends...

Also present at the hotel is Alec Prentice, a Federal agent working undercover to catch a conman. Alec is there with his aunt Victoria, a well-known academic. Through some funny coincidences, he becomes convinced that Dennie is an accomplice of the conman he's hunting, and so it begins: Alec trying to use Dennie to get at his man, and Dennie trying to use Alec to get at her woman, because it just so happens that Alec's aunt is very good friends with her...

I think what I loved best of all here was the dialogue. That was the main thing that kept me smiling. No one does banter like Crusie. It's witty and funny and it makes the chemistry between Alec and Dennie just sizzle.

And there is quite a lot of chemistry between them in the first place. There's tons of energy in their relationship, and you could see the compatibility perfectly. Sometimes you don't really understand why these two people in particular are so hung up on one another, but with Alec and Dennie it's so obvious. It's really obvious they are absolutely perfect for one another, and when they think that they'll never find someone who suits them so well as the other person, I had to agree completely.

There's also a wonderful secondary romance here, between Harry, Alec's boss, and Victoria, his aunt. This was a surprisingly sweet romance, considering how strong and temperamental these were, and though they don't get much space, Harry and Victoria totally steal the show when they're onstage.

Even the conman plot (which is a theme I usually don't see why people are so fascinated with, really), with all its comings and goings, was entertaining and felt fresh. I really urge you to pick this one up if you ever come accross it in a UBS, and not just because of the great resale value!


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